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How Pink Slime Can Make You a Better Eater

Apr 19, 2012

by Danielle Tsi

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

No one likes reading bad news about our food. From high-fructose corn syrup to genetically-modified ingredients and food safety recalls, each time a health scare makes the news the repercussions linger. We tweet, Facebook and blog, writing passionate status updates about how important it is that something, anything, be done. We start online petitions. Each tweet and hashtag fuels the fire of mass online disgust that lasts for about a week before the news cycle renews itself and all is forgotten. Until the next scare.

The recent uproar over “pink slime” in hamburgers and school lunches followed the same pattern. As Andy Bellatti put it, it’s a case of “same script, different cast.” For those unfamiliar with the issue, “pink slime” is a term coined in 2002 by former USDA microbiologist Gerald Zirnstein to describe a product developed by South Dakota-based Beef Products Inc. Its owner, Eldon Roth, developed a process that turns slaughterhouse scraps – the excess fat closest to the skin of a cow, and from other cuts of meat – into a lean beef filler free of E. coli and salmonella that burger makers could mix into patties. Those annoying pathogens would be taken care of once batches of Lean Finely Textured Beef (its official name) went through a bath of ammonia gas, which, we are assured, is actually food safe (it isn’t the same type of ammonia found in household cleaners). Not only did we discover last month that this ingredient is present in 70 percent of raw ground beef sold in America’s grocery stores, the public learnt of the USDA’s plans to buy seven million pounds of the product for the National School Lunch Program.

It is tempting to throw one’s hands up in despair; I did, when I read the news. I don’t even have kids, so I can only imagine the anxiety that parents of school-age children must feel.

Yet, despairing and sharing our outrage online from the comfort of the keyboard is, by and large, the easy thing to do. It is far harder to affect real change, outside of the media frenzy, in the privacy of our daily lives. I think, no, I believe, that it all begins with becoming a better eater. Please note that I’m not advocating for a particular diet over another – this is not a conversation about veganism vs. omnivorism. It is a discussion about America’s attitudes towards food, regardless of personal beliefs. Here’s why.

While every bacterial outbreak or discovery of unsavory ingredients in our food is an indicator of a failed food system, it is a large-scale problem that will take decades to solve. Of course it needs to change, it should change, and it will. But change of this scale takes time, leaving us with the big question: what can be done right now?

I’d volunteer that it begins with us, the consumers, to change, or rather, deepen our relationship with food. Real food, prepared from scratch as much as one’s schedules and pocketbooks can afford.

There’s no doubt that the accessibility of cheap, processed foods, in ever-expanding portions, has contributed to a rise in obesity rates, but what’s also lacking is any mention of how the consistent consumption of such products dull the eater’s palate, making wholesome, freshly-prepared food significantly bland in comparison. If you’ve ever tried to cut out soda from your diet, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Food that tastes good, in the sense of being at its peak of flavor, prepared in a way that honors its essence, or not even prepared at all – like a tomato plucked fresh from the vine – is almost always the healthier option. The drive for profitability and convenience in the food industry has clouded this truth, turning consumers into addicts of convenience and fake-flavored foods who bear the misperception that cooking something from scratch is too hard. This lack of a strong food culture – one that prizes the integrity of the ingredient, the process of cooking and the act of sharing a meal – allows corporate agriculture to dictate how we engage with what we eat.

Indeed, there are many factors in favor of quick dinner solutions for busy households or those who may not have the luxury of preparing a freshly-cooked meal every night. But in enjoying the convenience and relative affordability of a frozen dinner or takeout, let’s not forget what real food tastes like, and, more dangerously, give up the effort to create those sorts of dishes when possible.

If we’re serious about stopping health scares and preventing horrifying “innovations” like “pink slime” in our food system, we need to become a nation of better eaters. Develop your palate. Know the difference between an apple flown across thousands of miles and a fresh one harvested at its peak of ripeness. Learn to shop for the best ingredients, and learn how to prepare them simply. Savor the meals you cook for yourself. Think about how you can improve it for the next time. Repeat until it becomes second nature. That’s how change begins.

4 Featured Comments

  • GiggledPink

    Ashlee from GiggledPink said 4 years ago Featured

    I grew up having no idea how difficult it was to grow food, so of course I was a super picky, wasteful eater. Things are different for my own family. We participate in local CSAs, shop primarily from the farmers' market, and pick up our meat from the farmer. We've also been working on our own kitchen garden, though the foxes and raccoons get more of our harvest than we do. EAT FRESH, BUY LOCAL!!

  • gregpatt

    Greg Patt from WoodBoneAndStone said 4 years ago Featured

    A popular dietary trend I don't entirely agree with is the push to eat local and in season. Eating locally grown food supports the local economy and foods are at their peak for taste and nutrition when they are in season, however, some foods can't be grown in some places some times of the year. In some places, such as the far north, one would be restricted to an entirely carnivorous diet in the winter. In past centuries before transportation and commerce was what it is today seasonal nutritional deficiencies were real issues that even impacted lifespan. I'm happy to be able to eat something grown in another region when it can't be grown locally. Having lived part of my life on the other side of the world I always have a hankering for foods that can never be grown where I live.

  • IntheMoodforVintage

    Michele from IntheMoodforVintage said 4 years ago Featured

    Excellent article! The old saying is "You are what you eat" and that says it all. In my opinion, the problem begins with our own weaknesses. Our dependence on companies whose only concern is the shelf life of their Frankenstein foods and not the quality of food they bring to your table will destroy our health in the end. A few simple steps is all it takes to get back on track. Buy an Earth Box. You will have so much produce you will have to share it! Really small space? Lazy? Hydroponics and Vertical Gardening all set to timers. Click on this link ( http://bit.ly/J65gfI) to read about the most common veggies/fruits that are highly toxic. Forward this to friends. Buy only Organic or Heirloom Seeds. Do not purchase fruit/veggie seeds that say, "guaranteed to grow" meaning the seeds have been sprayed and fertilized with unknown chemicals. Only buy real organic soil...not the ones made by chemical companies. Buy only grass feed beef. When sales for inoculated beef and chicken go down, these industry will clean up their acts. Vote with your dollars. If we all just make one simple change a week, in a few months we can all be on the road to great tasting food and good health.

  • papersparrows

    Caiti Hensley from papersparrows said 4 years ago Featured

    As a fifteen year old, I think there are a few misconceptions about kids and food. I, personally, know where my food comes from, and my friends know the same. We don't think eggs are grown in cartons, and a healthy percentage of us have the same issues with the food industry as adults do. This is not only because of what our parents tell us: we have the internet and mass media, the same access adults have. We're not all ignorant. In fact, most of us know just as much as you do. That said, I think both sides of the debate have valid points. Organic, local food is much more like what humans evolved to eat. If you can afford it (and it is more expensive), it is probably much healthier. However, a lot of people cannot afford it. I know it's possible to get it cheaply in some areas, but where could a poor city dweller find a local farmer to buy a cow from? The processed food industry has its benefits and its drawbacks, and I think it's important to consider that.

178 comments

  • guziks

    Stephanie from Phylogeny said 4 years ago

    A very thought-provoking article. And thank you to Gerald Zirnstein for giving "pink slime" its truly disgusting name for helping us all want to change our eating habits immediately! I've always been a huge proponent of pick-your-own orchards and gardens, and I completely agree that an apple from the grocery store will never compare with the apple you pick off a tree yourself. The flavor is amazing (especially when they're warmed up by the sunlight). Happy eating everyone, and avoid the pink slime :)

  • kh1467

    Kelly from KikuPaper said 4 years ago

    I have always felt fortunate that my parents grew vegetables and froze a lot of fresh produce from local farmers. My mother always cooked plainly and we enjoyed the unprocessed taste of food. I distinctly remember my mother saying "We are so lucky to have such good food.". Besides that, we were allowed pop only as special treat, the same went for sugary cereals. This is what we learnt as children. As adults, my brothers and myself are avid home cookers buying basic ingredients to create delcious, healthy meals.

  • meganmccarthy5

    Megan McCarthy from SisterMadeIt said 4 years ago

    They was food processing has gone over the past years has been terrible. Everyone needs to make good choices when it comes to food the things that are being added to meats are really terrible for our kids and ourself. The adding of antibotics and hormons are really going to add up to future health problems. Great article we all need to be informed so we can make descisions about what we put into our body!

  • StoneandFlower

    Harper Jane from RenaissanceDoll said 4 years ago

    "If we’re serious about stopping health scares and preventing horrifying “innovations” like “pink slime” in our food system" If we're serious about anything it should be stopping government from wasting billions of dollars "creating" food we don't need, and getting government out of our private lives.

  • StoneandFlower

    Harper Jane from RenaissanceDoll said 4 years ago

    Also, it isn't the accessibility of cheap, processed foods contributing to a rise in obesity rates, it's choices people make. Veggies are just as cheap as most processed foods. It starts with us. We ourselves are to blame for our bad choices.

  • jewellerymadebyme

    Jennie Glaze from jewellerymadebyme said 4 years ago

    Why, why, why? How about we just eat real meat, real veg, real fruit, real eggs and real dairy. I would far rather my children have a small amount of roast beef wit lots of veg than a huge burger containing pink slime. Lets get back to real food please.

  • weezieduzzit

    weezieduzzit from weezieduzzit said 4 years ago

    I'm always saddened when I hear someone say that they're "too busy" to cook so they pick up convenience food and processed food full of chemicals- what could possibly more important than eating- and feeding your family- a balanced meal of high quality food that will keep their brains and bodies healthy?!!? It doesn't have to be a 5 course gourmet meal- just one made of fresh, whole, unadulterated food. It should be a priority in every household. I'm thankful that my parents instilled that value in us.

  • paramountvintage

    kristin from blackmoonsky said 4 years ago

    thank you so much for this article!!! whole, real food. simple!

  • FOYI

    Gaberiel from FOYI said 4 years ago

    Most of us have what I call convenient ignorance, and most of us trust the major companies way more than they deserve. We became slaves to them. But in the end life is a choice. We all get what's coming to us. ALWAYS question authority.

  • minipotterybyanita

    minipotterybyanita from potterybyAnita said 4 years ago

    Growing up on a farm, we used every bit of a pig but the "squeal," as the saying goes. But, these few animals were raised in a large pasture, in the sunshine, with grass under their feet and natural ingredients for their food. This "industrial farming," as it's called by some, is totally different. Animals squashed together, sometimes in cages where they they can't sit down or open their wings, is totally inhumane. That's why people have to feed them antibiotics, because they can't develop the natural immunity they would normall have. Sorry, soapbox rant over...we do need to back up and do things differently!

  • BeadedEclectic

    Laura Bauer from BeadedEclectic said 4 years ago

    Great article

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie said 4 years ago

    Interesting.

  • Greencathedral

    Sarah Jackson from StoneForestJewels said 4 years ago

    Yes yes yes yes...I feel the same way about what I have learned regarding poultry processing and sales and fish from "factory ponds." I like some meat and fish now and then but I sacrifice frequency of having it due to price, for less often and using costlier health food store sources. They have beef, poultry, fish and cheese (from goat and cow) and all from no hormone, cage free or free of other "pink slime" type enhancements. I have come to love LENTILS - a true super food with everything you could want and a must for diabetics. I am off insulin and rid of symptoms of illnesses I never thought I would be. It is all about the seasoning not so much the time. I have worked 16 hour or more days and if I can still use a crock pot or take 15 minutes to throw together a salad anyone can. You know something else I have noticed? I have one trash can to put at the end of the driveway once a week instead of two. That is not including the things I have always taken to recycle. We have choices. Let's make them when we can. For ourselves, our children and our planet.

  • TheHickoryTree

    Linda from TheHickoryTree said 4 years ago

    It really puzzles me why our major food producers are always trying to kill their customers with bad food. If you kill us off whose left to buy your goods? What ever happened to eating fresh fruit, eggs, vegetables, fish, poultry and beef?. Why do they have to put chemicals, additives, sweeteners and salt in every single thing they produce. Since the pink slime scandal my family stopped buying ground beef from the store. I grind my own or buy it from the farmer in town. Now I even have to watch out for the food I purchase for my dogs. China is using diseased animals for their pet food and treats. My vet said he is seeing kidney failure in young dogs that consume these foods produced in China. I think we need to go back to basics.

  • nellyvansee

    Nelly Van Cleeff from nellyvansee said 4 years ago

    Pink slime has been invented because people forgot how to use all the other cuts of meat that in the past people used to eat. People just want whats fast and easy and now cook. People just want steaks and burgers, hot dogs and junk food. For an example there the tail, with which you can make super delicious soup and the meat is super flavorful and tender ( vietnamese pho, the broth made with tail and bones ). People used to eat heart, liver, stomach, which is super healthy for you and full of nutrients. Bones where used also to make stock for soup, and the marrow is healthy and delicious ( like oso bucco ) When I was broke, I used to only buy these types of cut at my local organic free range meat market, but now I still buy them because I find they are delicious. I like all these weird cut over burgers or a steak, any time. Since people don't cook, all these cuts are turned into hot dogs or pink slime, which is a shame.

  • nellyvansee

    Nelly Van Cleeff from nellyvansee said 4 years ago

    I meant " not cook " PS: Sorry for all the spelling mistakes.

  • uswatsons

    Sylvie Liv from SylvieLiv said 4 years ago

    My father raises a small herd beef cattle at home. When this type of concern arises, I am reminded to be thankful that we have this beef available to us. No, it is not always the cheapest method, but for the quality organic meat that you get, it is worth the slight cost increase to me! Really, we don't have to throw up our hands and feel helpless... there are small beef farms all over the world that anyone can buy a quarter or half a cow from. I'm sure most of us could find one within driving distance. If you can go in with friends to buy a cow, and then split the butcher cost, you could save yourself much worry and health risks. And besides, it is so convenient to have a freezer full of meat! :)

  • uniquefabricgifts

    Unique Fabric Gifts from uniquefabricgifts said 4 years ago

    Very interesting and informative article! Thank you!

  • LoopySheep

    Lidar from LoopySheep said 4 years ago

    Hear Hear. consume local, fresh, unindustrialized products.

  • HappyWhoos

    Jessie Friedman from HappyWhoos said 4 years ago

    Great article! I try my very best to get all of my food from farmers' markets and for the things that I can't find there, I make sure that what I get is organic, clean, and sustainable. I also try to eat fruit and vegetables that are in season. The sad thing is, no matter how much you try to educate people about the hidden ingredients in processed foods, fake-antibiotic-hormone filled-crap fed-meats... people will still buy the crappy stuff. I have several friends and family whom I have showed videos about the reality of major food companies and their hidden dangers - even showed them around farmers' markets - they STILL prefer to buy the junk stuff. Very sad. We can try battling the food industry, but as much as there are people who are fighting for clean food, there is quadruple the amount of people who don't care and don't want to change. What I say is to get educated, make your own choices, support your local farmers... give America the message that until they do not change the way they produce food, you will not give them a cent. For those who have children in schools, pack their lunches with wholesome foods - do not let them eat what they serve in the school's cafeterias.

  • GracefullyGirly

    Kimberlee from GracefullyGirly said 4 years ago

    Wow, makes me so glad I don't like ground beef. And that my daughter hasn't acquired a taste for it either. But once she attends school I'm scared to death what will happen to her diet. I used to be a public school teacher. I know of what I speak, and it isn't pretty! The food can barely be called food. I only once didn't take the time to pack a lunch in the morning and when I tried to eat my school-bought lunch I was horrified! I never made that mistake again. Now that my daughter is about to attend school I hope I can continue to pack her lunch for the rest of her school career. You can try your best to teach kids good eating habits but when they are out of your sight they can make some pretty poor choices because {some} artificial stuff actually does taste yummy. I can hope that our shopping, cooking, growing food together helps. Knowing what kinds of awful things are being put into food can at least make me more aware so I can better protect my family and myself, so thanks a ton for the article!

  • MaidenVoyageClothing

    MaidenVoyageClothing from MaidenVoyageClothing said 4 years ago

    Our favorite salsa is made from veggies grown in our back yard and tastes so much better than the store bought kind! Homemade stock just tastes more flavorful, too! And has anyone tried homemade bread (or at least from a local mom & pop bakery)? Ohhhhhhhh - so good! The healthiest and best tasting food is always fresh and made at home with love! ;p

  • GiggledPink

    Ashlee from GiggledPink said 4 years ago Featured

    I grew up having no idea how difficult it was to grow food, so of course I was a super picky, wasteful eater. Things are different for my own family. We participate in local CSAs, shop primarily from the farmers' market, and pick up our meat from the farmer. We've also been working on our own kitchen garden, though the foxes and raccoons get more of our harvest than we do. EAT FRESH, BUY LOCAL!!

  • edor

    c. m. lee from edor said 4 years ago

    I agree, if everyone started improving their own eating habits, the agriculture industry will have to take notice and change their ways to suit *us*. (ie. make a profit - their bottom line)

  • kiihelewest

    Kiihele West from SewMeHawaii said 4 years ago

    What a thought provoking article. Here in Hawai'i where we have a 12 mo. growing season and have the highest rate of diabetes in the country and one of the highest rates of obesity. Why? Because so many are addicted to Spam, Vienna Sausage, canned corned beef, soda, and junk food. We are finally getting around to taking soda, chips and candy out of school vending machines! I often wonder why they were put there in the first place. I shop at the Farmer's Market, buy fresh fish from the fishermen, have a garden for salad veggies, compost my scraps and cook & bake virtually everything from scratch. It doesn't take that much more time and the flavors are so much more vibrant. You are right...the populace needs to start eating better and being more selective with what we feed ourselves and our families. A good start is to buy a baby food grinder and grind your own. My boys are now grown but have always enjoyed veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, squashes, etc. because they developed a taste for fresh food when very young.

  • yourauntiespanties

    Genevieve F from YourAuntiesPanties said 4 years ago

    Very interesting read......love the featured painting @ BlueTurtledog :)

  • KaiceJoy

    Kirsti Joy from KaiceJoy said 4 years ago

    Interesting and good information! I often think that if it isn't one thing, it's another! Just trying to keep doing the best I can to feed my family in a somewhat healthy way!

  • AtomicAttic

    Miles and Aimee Harrison from AtomicAttic said 4 years ago

    Very nice article. Well said!

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections from KettleConfections said 4 years ago

    We need to have meat and dairy producers list every type of chemicals and drugs their animals are treated with, because eventually, you'll be consuming it indirectly in meat, eggs, or milk. Otherwise, we'll just have a race to the bottom in terms of prices as producers come up with novel ways to produce cheaper versions of everything to keep up with falling wages of the consumer.

  • ToosDetectiveAgency

    Sara Schroeder from ToosDetectiveAgency said 4 years ago

    I'm always surprised when people are horrified to learn where food comes from. In an age where we already know Jessica Simpson is having a baby girl tomorrow and naming it Maxwell, there's no reason not to know what you are eating how it came to be. I feel bad for children, who have to rely on other people to know this and make choices for them.

  • jorgensenstudio

    jorgensenstudio from jorgensenstudio said 4 years ago

    I agree its all about talking with your personal dollars that promotes the largest change. In an effort to get healthy and fit I have stopped drinking soda and I limit the processed food I purchase to a very nominal amount. In my part of the country and especially in my city (which is currently hosting the slow food confrence) eating local and organic is huge and promoted by restaurants, the city, the organizations within the city - it is a way of life here and it has changed me since I have moved here. I started having local organic produce delivered to me weekly by "green bean" which also forces me to prepare more vegatables in my daily meals - because if I don't eat them I am over run when more show up at my door. It has also gotten me to try new things that I discover in my bin of whats in season locally - who knew I like chard? I didn't even know what chard was a month ago... one of the many new tastes I discover weekly.

  • melaniegracedesigns

    Melanie from melaniegracedesigns said 4 years ago

    Thanks for the post! Every bit of information helps. I just read about red scrape?, I think it was called, the raw fish version of pink slime being used in sushi. Yuck! Helping people stay informed in order to make good choices is such important work, I'm following your blog now :)

  • PomDecors

    ElleJay from 20thCenturyKitchen said 4 years ago

    Just because your produce comes from a local family farm does not mean it is safer than what is on display in your supermarket chain store, imported from thousands of miles away. I adopted two cats from local farms -- the farms were 25 miles apart. Both cats died from malignant stomach cancer, unlike the cats I adopted from urban shelters. Neither of the farms were involved in selling meat, eggs, or dairy. I try to avoid local produce (it tastes like cardboard anyway) and will not ever eat veggies or fruit that have not been thoroughly cooked.

  • ladybugz60

    Jo said 4 years ago

    I very strongly feel that one of the things we as consumers can do to improve the quality of food that we eat, is to know and respect the people who grow it. It's very easy to say that it's not humane to raise chickens in cages or to put sows in farrowing crates, but until you know the reasons why things are being done that way ( and knowing is NOT assuming that it is to keep costs down for the farmers ), don't immediately dismiss the process. This kind of extremism leads to misconceptions and outright lies. Farmers are committed to a lifestyle of work and love of the land and Earth's creatures; remember that it only takes one bad or inhumane livestock farmer to give the rest a bad name. Respect the people who grow your food, without them, America wouldn't be half the country it is today!

  • OhMyLuckyStar

    Samantha Hughes from OhMyLuckyStar said 4 years ago

    "...turning consumers into addicts of convenience and fake-flavored foods who bear the misperception that cooking something from scratch is too hard." This is so true - all we hear now-a-days is how quick and easy this is or how tasty that is.. but in the end it isn't all healthy and half the time it's practically addicting! Good, home cooked meals don't have to be expensive and they don't always take a long time to make, but they are a delicious way to stay healthier and a great way to bring a family together.

  • peacesofindigo

    Dawanna Young from peacesofindigo said 4 years ago

    Brilliant discussion here and I couldn't agree more. Another reason that I love etsy! We eat organic and locally grown and wouldn't have it any other way. We consider the cost of healthy food an investment in the health of our family.

  • VoleedeMoineaux

    Hillary De Moineaux from VoleedeMoineaux said 4 years ago

    Just eat raw darn it!

  • MeganMerah

    Megan S from DownTheRavine said 4 years ago

    "My Year of Meats." Great book about the meat industry and all the little surprises that come with it, if anyone out there is interested. I was required to read it for a Women and Gender Studies course at my university. Brings about a lot of interesting and frankly shocking points.

  • firecrackerfabrics

    Jackie Griffiths from KookyCornerCrafts said 4 years ago

    Eeek its so scary how much is in our food that we don't really know about. Would love to live out in the country where I could buy meat, milk and eggs from a local farmer and know exactly where it came from, make my own bread and grow my own veggies. Maybe one day... *sigh*

  • ViaMinima

    Charlotte V. from ViaMinima said 4 years ago

    The fact that I'm a vegetarian does not take away my safety, everything seems like it needs some research before consumption (not that I'm fanatical).

  • aveshamichael

    Avesha Michael from aveshamichael said 4 years ago

    YES YES YES! thank you for bringing more people aware... the first step in change and shifts!

  • ViaMinima

    Charlotte V. from ViaMinima said 4 years ago

    Blame it on Monsanto :P

  • gregpatt

    Greg Patt from WoodBoneAndStone said 4 years ago Featured

    A popular dietary trend I don't entirely agree with is the push to eat local and in season. Eating locally grown food supports the local economy and foods are at their peak for taste and nutrition when they are in season, however, some foods can't be grown in some places some times of the year. In some places, such as the far north, one would be restricted to an entirely carnivorous diet in the winter. In past centuries before transportation and commerce was what it is today seasonal nutritional deficiencies were real issues that even impacted lifespan. I'm happy to be able to eat something grown in another region when it can't be grown locally. Having lived part of my life on the other side of the world I always have a hankering for foods that can never be grown where I live.

  • ViaMinima

    Charlotte V. from ViaMinima said 4 years ago

    I plant a vegetable garden every Spring, it's a luxury to be able to grow your own, but knowing the quality you're consuming and tasting the difference is a huge payoff...

  • AlternativeBlooms

    Alternative Blooms from AlternativeBlooms said 4 years ago

    Wow, interesting. Very valid arguments and supports. Lots to think about!

  • OnlyOriginalsByAJ

    AJ Marsden from OnlyOriginalsByAJ said 4 years ago

    Love this article! Thanks for posting!

  • bddesigns

    Christen Largent from bddesigns said 4 years ago

    Bravo!!! Way to go!

  • gregpatt

    Greg Patt from WoodBoneAndStone said 4 years ago

    Interesting article that brings to attention some good points. I'm not so sure it's a failed food system so much as a failure of consumers to make good choices. The good stuff has always been available and still is. I guess it's like the chicken and the egg thing. Did manufacturers provide what the consumers wanted or did evil people manufacture evil food and convinced consumers to buy it? Probably some of both (but run that one by your local entrepreneur fudge shop and see if you get a friendly smile).

  • reigne490

    Rachel Popham said 4 years ago

    I'm probably about to go sharply against popular opinion here - I should admit up-front that I think Jamie Oliver is a condescending, oversimplifying, and in some ways counterproductive personality, and I couldn't get through two episodes of his show. I agree that we as consumers should be savvy to the warmth and goodness of wholesome and self-prepared foods. I buy locally, I strongly support nutrition education among children and families, I cultivate a fairly healthy diet for myself and my household. I was personally appalled, disgusted by the decision to count the tomato paste on school pizzas as a vegetable in school lunches. But not by this. I have to say I support innovations like this, to an extent. If TPTB continually refuse to make the effort to enforce a well-rounded diet in schoolchildren, then at least there are products like these as a stopgap, which provide lean, undiseased food to a wide base. Yes, it's processed. Yes, it would be awesome if kids were fed more vegetables and knew more about nutrition. But are we really so susceptible to marketing that THIS is the thing we're going to get super-outraged about? A process that prevents children from getting E. Coli or eating super-fatty meats? Just because of a catchphrase involving "slime" or a science word like "ammonia"? Shouldn't we be embracing some innovation instead, taking the best parts of what these companies are doing and transforming them into workable solutions or compromises for the huge bases in our culture that lack time, energy, education, access, or funds to make ideal decisions about their food intake? It would be wonderful if our culture did an about-face and got really smart and healthy about its food and food-purchasing decisions, sure, but that change is slow. Until then, we need to be more creative, more proactive, more pro- in general, and less anti-. And I am for safe, lean meat in cafeterias.

  • gregpatt

    Greg Patt from WoodBoneAndStone said 4 years ago

    I was relieved that the conclusion of the article was that the consumer should be the one to initiate change in their relationship with food rather than suggest that government legislate change.

  • PoleStar

    Jennifer Juniper from PoleStar said 4 years ago

    Agreed Rachel. I am more appalled that the school system thinks Mozzarella cheese sticks and marinara sauce is an acceptable lunch. Where is the frenzy over that? That is why my kids take a packed lunch. The "pink slime" issue was kind of overblown and misinformed. I don't like to jump on those band wagons anyway. People forget how much meat is moved through this country's grocery stores when they get mad about treatments such as "pink slime" for meat that actually might make eating that processed bulk meat more safe. Better decision making per family does affect change slowly. Frenzy, does not. Next year it will be some other horrible thing that people are surprised is in their McNuggets.

  • IntheMoodforVintage

    Michele from IntheMoodforVintage said 4 years ago Featured

    Excellent article! The old saying is "You are what you eat" and that says it all. In my opinion, the problem begins with our own weaknesses. Our dependence on companies whose only concern is the shelf life of their Frankenstein foods and not the quality of food they bring to your table will destroy our health in the end. A few simple steps is all it takes to get back on track. Buy an Earth Box. You will have so much produce you will have to share it! Really small space? Lazy? Hydroponics and Vertical Gardening all set to timers. Click on this link ( http://bit.ly/J65gfI) to read about the most common veggies/fruits that are highly toxic. Forward this to friends. Buy only Organic or Heirloom Seeds. Do not purchase fruit/veggie seeds that say, "guaranteed to grow" meaning the seeds have been sprayed and fertilized with unknown chemicals. Only buy real organic soil...not the ones made by chemical companies. Buy only grass feed beef. When sales for inoculated beef and chicken go down, these industry will clean up their acts. Vote with your dollars. If we all just make one simple change a week, in a few months we can all be on the road to great tasting food and good health.

  • samsnatural

    Sam's Natural from SamsNatural said 4 years ago

    Great article! We buy our meats local!! Really disturbing food system our government has. (I really INSANE)

  • volkerwandering

    Jess from volkerwandering said 4 years ago

    Interesting article, I enjoyed it!

  • dustbincards

    Kathy from DustbinCards said 4 years ago

    It really is our OWN responsibility to feed ourselves and and our families and I totally agree with your last comment, Greg. I garden, and preserve food, but your point of locavores having nothing but meat in northern climes is spot on. I live in a northern area of the States and rely on the supermarket for fresh veg and fruits during the winter months. I have very little experience shopping for meat, though. My husband is a successful hunter and he harvests elk and venison every year. Low fat, GMO,hormone and antibiotic free meat. So the pink slime frenzy meant little to me, but I don't think a media frenzy is a good indicator of fact. It indicates that facts must be researched by me.

  • LilyThings

    Elizabeth Lagasse from LillyThings said 4 years ago

    Great read! When we put healthy food in our bodies we feel good! I made the choice to eat more healthy years ago and I never want to go back!

  • sandboxcastle

    H Wang from sandboxcastle said 4 years ago

    have you read about the tuna version of pink slime- tuna scrape? The sad truth is, at the end of the day if you really want to know what you are eating you've gotta make it yourself or get it from sources you really trust and have investigated...and maybe this is another part of America's obesity problem - who really has the time to fully do due diligence on everything?

  • LuckyRose2777

    Melissa Butler from LuckyRose2777 said 4 years ago

    The truth is, you are never going to truly know where your food is coming from or what is in it, until you grow it yourself. I come from a place where 90 percent of the people don't care one bit about random meat parts. We eat scrapple. There are crunchy things in there. Just because it is called "slime" instead of "left over parts" is what is making this so "scary" for people. If I make a pie and one of the ingredients was called Slimy Gagpaste but was made out of melon rines, I'm sure people wouldn't eat it. But the only thing in the pie is melon. So they make a "slime" out of BEEF?! Wow. How long have you been eating it before you knew? It's like giving someone a cookie and they take a bite. "It's the best cookie I've ever had!" they exclaim. Calmly explain to them that you used worms. They spit out the cookie. Wasn't it the best cookie EVER, like 2 seconds ago. I mean if you really thinking about eating the DEAD FLESH of an animal, make sure you dont eat the squishy parts. I like meat by the way, I just think it's hilarious that people were so suprised into checking what they put in thier mouths, when they should have been doing that to begin with.

  • gregpatt

    Greg Patt from WoodBoneAndStone said 4 years ago

    Kathy, the term locavores is new to me and I like it! Did you coin it? Your elk and venison are not only GMO, hormone and antibiotic free it is high in omega 3 fatty acids which is a good thing. I'm a lifelong vegetarian and grow much of my fresh food. Certain times of the year I bypass the produce department unless I want to see how much money I'm saving.

  • PruAtelier

    Jeanne B from PruAtelier said 4 years ago

    Thanks Danielle for bringing this issue to Etsy! I first read of this latest horrifying "food" from Mercola.com. Sad to say, many people under 50 don't know about and have not been raised on real foods as the advent of fast "foods", with its chemical ingredients and fillers long before replaced the real and healthy food content. Our "food" has turned into a "chemical feast" and our health problems are a direct effect of that. The sooner we get rid of "corporate agriculture" and its influence over our government, and have honesty and integrity back in food production, we may begin to see a healthier nation!

  • janewearjewelry

    janewearjewelry from janewearjewelry said 4 years ago

    This is why our family butchers our own raised beef and shares it among our little families. And why we raise as much produce as we can and buy from local farmers! And why I wake up early every single weekday to make my kids' lunches before school! It's a ton of work, but very much worth the effort!

  • KKSimpleRegalJewelry

    Krista from TheBeadtriss said 4 years ago

    It all goes back to farming!! Have your own farm... be sufficient! :} (Like us!) ~KK~

  • jjdesignonlinestore

    Jody Larson from jjdesignonlinestore said 4 years ago

    Thank you for posting. I had heard of it but had not started to reasearch.

  • icing101

    HannaH from icing101 said 4 years ago

    Great Article! I'm so glad to see this on etsy, very true Danielle!

  • MaJentaDesigns

    MaJentaDesigns from MaJentaDesigns said 4 years ago

    Interesting article, so very true, sadly its when the shocking news of something like "pink slime" or "recalls" that reminds us to be more conscious of what we put into our bodies.

  • TheMillineryShop

    Marcia Lacher from TheMillineryShop said 4 years ago

    And the title says it all. Thanks.

  • BigRockPaperCo

    Melissa Cyrenne from BigRockWeddingFavors said 4 years ago

    Sorry... But whether we all go for what's fast or whether we are cooking for scratch- pink slime is here to stay. I buy local, processed local and not at the Cargill plant that is down the street., I pay a ton more to get this and we don't get sick. AAA Alberta grown beef and it is damned good too!

  • MissTanDesigns

    Miss Tan from MissTanDesigns said 4 years ago

    Interesting article.

  • Waterrose

    Rose Waterrose from Waterrose said 4 years ago

    For years I've been thinking and saying to my family that hamburger just doesn't taste like it did when I was growing up. As soon as I heard the reports about "pink slim" the "aha" went off in my brain. We eat much less hamburger then I did when I was younger, but the problem is that every time I turn on the news something else is added to the list of things that really aren't being processed right. I just heard on the news last night that the FDA is going to begin removing FDA examiners from poultry plants, leaving just one at each plant. And, will allow the poultry company to self regulate and do their own checking....just doesn't make sense. No matter where you live you can buy local; however, not all things can be produced locally. So you have to rely on some things being shipped from other places and you have to trust that they are being handled correctly. Or, do as much as you can to clean, cook and protect yourself if they haven't been handled correctly.

  • BelieveInHappy

    Valerie Larmi from DitchThistle said 4 years ago

    Nice. Very nice.

  • AtomicAmelia

    Liz and Amelia from AtomicAmelia said 4 years ago

    I find processed foods to be quite tasty, even after watching a documentary on how hot dogs are made with liquified chicken. There are scary things in natural foods, too (like molds and diseased meats) that modern food processing was carefully designed to remove. As with all things in life, the key is moderation and eating what makes you feel best. Farmers who farm genetically modified corn to feed commercial cattle so that disease-free, inexpensive meats can be available to everyone around the nation are just as important as the local farmer who only grows three bushels of tomatoes in his side yard. We can't let scientific ignorance and fear-filled diction overshadow the truth: that American school children are not starving like children elsewhere and that they are being fed a clean, nutritive protein.

  • OxOriginalArtJewelry

    Patsy Oxley from OxArtJewelry said 4 years ago

    Scares and exaggerations like this just cause the price of beef to go higher. But I guess that's good for cattlemen.

  • leslieholz

    Leslie Holz from leslieholz said 4 years ago

    Unfortunately most kids today believe that food comes in a paper sack, handed to them through a window. If you have never been on a farm, inside a meat packing house, meat cooler, or helped process your own food, it's very hard to have an appreciation for where your food comes from. My kids wouldn't touch meat or milk from the grocery store. Even veggies from there are a little scary. The closer you can get to the real source of your food, the better.

  • 5flowers

    Cynthea LaCroix said 4 years ago

    Excellent read..I absolutely agree this is how we stop the insanity with the foods we eat.I try my hardest to live by this. This is the only way change can happen and how we can go back to being offered healthy foods to eat

  • Mclovebuddy

    Mr. Sal Phan, Bichon Frise from Mclovebuddy said 4 years ago

    the differences in flavor and nutrients between home grown herbs and store bought (even organic) is startling. same for "produce" including greens and eggs and flesh foods ... no profit nutrition from home vs. corporate adding all the other stuff for profit margins. great article.

  • sewkindness

    Nancy from sewkindness said 4 years ago

    The only good part is that there is sew much more awareness which makes me feel positive that our children and their children will be making right choices and eat clean. The key is awareness. . . thanks to articles like this, more and more will be aware. I wish I knew then what I know now. I'm hoping more and more people eat clean, and changes are made in the future.

  • liddysopretty

    liddy sopretty from liddysopretty said 4 years ago

    Home cooked meals...yum!

  • pinkparchmentsoaps

    pinkparchmentsoaps from pinkparchmentsoaps said 4 years ago

    Bravo - I love this article

  • sunwedjewelry

    Sontia from shopSWJ said 4 years ago

    I love this article. We cook at LEAST five out of seven nights per week and we always shop outside of the isle with the freshest ingredients available! Talking and having a glass of wine while cooking with fresh ingredients is so fun!

  • IntheMoodforVintage

    Michele from IntheMoodforVintage said 4 years ago

    Genetically modified foods are not disease free. Many contain tumors that are just excised, then processed. Therefore you are eating sick and diseased meat. I agree with Danielle and Greg that we need to regulate our own menus. Life is all about decisions. Decisions that one makes are cumulative, so it is wise to research and find out what works best for the individual. Information is the key to success, life and health. Some good reading: http://www.preventcancer.com/consumers/general/hormones_meat.htm

  • CozyMoments

    Michelle from CozyMomentsLLC said 4 years ago

    A very good read indeed! =)

  • farmwifemccoy

    Courtney from farmwifemccoy said 4 years ago

    Ok So I have to play the other part of this "Controversy" This product is plain and simple beef. It is safe and has been aproved for many years by the USDA. This lean textured beef allows for a leaner product which means less fat. This is all a stupid controversy prompted by animal rights activists who focuses on only the money in their pocket. This "pink slim" smear campain is only hurting the agricuture and beef producers industry. YOUR BEEF IS SAFE, EAT SOME TODAY. Please know all the facts before you decide.

  • VeiledIntensity

    Bethany from ParadoxicalPhoenix said 4 years ago

    I loved this article. Honestly, the pink slime wasn't a big deal to me. It might be because I never eat ground beef unless it's fresh from a grass-fed farm or it might be because it just doesn't seem as bad as other things they do to the food in this country. When food starts making you sick, you start researching (or at least I did - and by researching I mean peer-reviewed studies, not random internet pages that could have been written by anyone). You would not believe what is in the food in the U.S. Start reading labels, everyone. Start researching. It's more important than you realize.

  • ABumpInTheRoad

    Lucy said 4 years ago

    I agree that home cooking is best, and one should understand where their food comes from, and good nutrition and all those things that people like to propagate. But I just want to say, the ammonia that they use to ensure the meat is completly bacteria free is safe. You seem to be doubtful, but the actual science behind is sound. Which is where I'm in this paragraph that I'm sure not many will read. We are a world that is developing and expanding. The world's population is too large as it is, and we cannot all eat meat from a free range animal, because that requires ridiculous amounts of land. It's great that people will, and always be able to have these things, but things aren't like the old days anymore. One user prompted, saying that fish farms are somewhere you don't want to get fish from, but if you don't get fish from there, where will you get it? The ocean, right? Well, many people advocate fish farms because they reduce overfishing and population destruction, and yet people dislike them because they are "cruel to fish", or what? Is it just because the name "fish farm" seems to get a bad connotation.There's too much paradox in what people are saying. The population of the world is demanding more and more, and this is currently the only way to satisfy their needs. Resources must be used and whether you like it or not, this is the only way people have thought of to create enough for everyone (or at least enough that the first world people want). And I do mean everyone, because everyone here probably has a phone, a TV, uses electricity, running water and a laptop. So think about it this way, if everyone ate locally grown, free range cattle and food, then where are we going to live? We are in a scientific world, one where things aren't what they seem to be, but what other solutions do we have? This seems to be the only one for now. Again, I am not disagreeing with the points in this article at all, I just want people to think before they say 'This is bad!!!" because words like "ammonia", and "Genetically Modified" scare them.

  • recipesforliving

    Chris from recipesforliving said 4 years ago

    Thanks for raising the issue on Etsy Danielle. In rural Australia I hadn't heard about "pink slime". It doesn't surprise me that a food processor should try to utilize every scrap of stuff available. I agree, I don't like the idea of the resulting food product. I prefer to grow my own, eat locally, organic, home cooked, etc, but many years ago a few late, severe frosts reminded me how fortunate I am to live in a society with good food production and logistics systems.

  • VintageRenude

    Pam from VintageRenude said 4 years ago

    Growing up my mother never cooked, to this day she doesn't know how. But over the years I have grown to dislike any food that is processed.I can't tell you the last time I ate fast food. To me it tastes and smells like grease and salt, neither of which I want to eat. I don't buy anything in can's, boxes etc. I long ago stopped shopping at "regular" grocery stores. I buy fresh vegies, fruit, and fish. I won't buy meat, or poultry, can't stand the smell of it cooking or the way it looks. I want my food raw, natural, unprocessed. To me it just tastes better, and has to be better for us.

  • HollyB951

    Holly Bullard said 4 years ago

    Have you even done your research? The reason so many schools are converting to hamburger patties made out of "pink" slime is because there are many children that may only get that one meal a day. It has enough nutritional value to sustain a child that isn't being fed properly at home and yes it is safe. It's actually safer than eating meat straight off of cattle because it has been treated and rid of pathogens like e.coli. Coming from a food science student. Do YOUR research!

  • AzimuthVintage

    Traci McKnight from AzimuthVintage said 4 years ago

    BRAVO!!!! Thank you for your honest and careful depiction of what our food stystem is. I loved reading this article- it is inspiring to know that others are beginning to understand and expect real change! **all should real a wonderful book called, 'THE OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA' by Michael Pollan. The author offers some almost incredible insight to the modern Amercian's views on food.**

  • artbywinona

    Winona Johnson from ArtByWinona said 4 years ago

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  • Muscadinebeads

    Ann Tindell Keener from Muscadinebeads said 4 years ago

    Thank you for pointing out that we still have the power to choose where we want our food to come from. This is more important than it first seems, but we should have the right know what we eating, and choose based off of that. The world is growing and changing, but that doesn't mean we all have to eat MEAT at all. If there's not enough grassfed meat to go around, eat less of it and more of other proteins. We as Americans don't NEED near as much meat as we consume anyway....

  • PariDesign

    Iveta from PariDesign said 4 years ago

    I wish for all the people who stand behind the production of this cheep unhealthy stuff, a big moment of realization, closing down their productions for this reason, creating a new standards for consumers, farmers, themselves and all who care about what they eat.

  • GraysonDesigns11

    GraysonDesigns11 from GraysonDesigns11 said 4 years ago

    We do need to be empowered to make better choices. It isn't so tough to make homemade meals. It does, however, take a long time to prepare sometimes. I worked an 8-5 job for 10 years and I know how much you want to prepare something easy for the family when you get home. I myself have learned to rely on my freezer and crockpot. We all need to find what works for us and our crazy schedules.

  • BozenaWojtaszek

    Bozena Wojtaszek from BozenaWojtaszek said 4 years ago

    Words of wisdom - thanks for the wise post. Yes, it's our choice and it's a matter of knowing. It's sad that now to eat healthy means to be suspicious, but we can do this. Everything is in our hands.

  • elleestpetite

    Donna Thai from PetiteCuisine said 4 years ago

    Pink slime? Gosh, I had no idea about this matter. Just sounds like another cheap way to plump up meat.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 4 years ago

    I heard about this on the radio here in the UK, I think its disgusting! But its nice that there's something positive to take away from this, change starts with you as they say!

  • EventDesignShop

    Gabrielle from EventDesignShop said 4 years ago

    What an inspiring article! I've wanted to simplify the way I eat for sometime now, but it seemed complicated and unsavory, and so I've put it on the back burner. I think reading this has validated the concerns I've had in the back of my mind, and given me the boost to start moving in a healthier, more wholesome direction.

  • BoonieBandido

    Patty Sparger from BoonieBandido said 4 years ago

    I find it interesting that "pink slime" has everyones' attention...the meat industry has injected livestock with so many antibiotics that entire water tables on the east coast are polluted...an our bodies grow immunity to human antibiotics. Livestock is fed other animals' unusable "meat" or genetically modified "products". Our crops are modified and mutated to the point that a tomato doesn't taste like a tomato anymore. Farmers will soon be unable to grow organic because the GMO crops' seeds have contaminated organic fields....I can go on and on...pink slime is the least of our worries. We need to research and be aware of the evils of corporate agriculture (and factory farming), it's lobbyists, the impotent FDA and our bought state representatives and congresspeople. Make little changes at first. Research your food and it's creators. Plant heirloom seeds for food and homeopathic medicines. Eat organic as much as possible. Raise your own chickens and work with others who believe in living a better life. Build community and networks so we all become empowered AND keep it growing. Thanks for the thought provoking article Danielle.

  • MissHildebrandt

    Miss Hildebrandt from MissHildebrandt said 4 years ago

    Props to the post above (Patty Sparger)

  • playinjayne

    Bette from playinjayne said 4 years ago

    Having been raised in an earlier era, I am appalled at the amount of fast food and processed food products that my grandchildren and great grandchild are eating. To combat this in a way that does not say "I judge you.", I serve fresh fruit on a daily basis with a loving smile. In addition, I lead them on walks discovering nature and attempt to give them a love for all there is outside. Thank you so much for this article.

  • IkvothaMashiach70

    Gabrielle Knight from RuffleNBustle said 4 years ago

    Amen Patty!(3 posts above). That's what I try to tell everyone I know, grow a garden! It doesn't matter if you don't have much space, put them in containers, if you live in the city start a community garden! It's a great way to bring the community together. If you're scared about what's in your food, then do something about it! Check this article out for more on GMO, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/06/monsantos-pesticides-and-gmo.aspx?e_cid=20120306_DNL_art_1

  • BarefootBathandBody

    Dee C. from BarefootBathandBody said 4 years ago

    Patty put it best!

  • Tessarj

    Tessa Jones from WidowsWalk said 4 years ago

    Agreed. Thank you for this article!

  • dpsales

    Pam from PamsWarmKreations said 4 years ago

    Very interesting!!! I've never heard of pink slime. We just ran out of our farm grown ground beef and I just bought ground beef at the grocery store. My husband and I were talking about ordering some farm beef again. I think this article has made my decision to order. Great article. Thank you.

  • mintmoose

    Katrina from mintmoose said 4 years ago

    Fantastic article! And there are some really good comments in here worth reading as well. :-)

  • CarlaMedia

    Carla from CarlaMedia said 4 years ago

    This is a wonderful article that highlights one of the growing problem of "fast" meals and eating in today's faster-faster-faster society. My husband and I try to shop at farmer's markets whenever possible, and we have cut out processed foods where we can. Not everyone has the time to cook every meal at home, but even cooking three or four fresh meals at home each week is a big start. Once you begin down the path of cooking from fresh ingredients, processed food becomes much less appealing.

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 4 years ago

    My local butcher uses only local, organically-reared, free range animals from a radius of 20 miles, he also slaughters his own livestock from his own farm. All the animal parts that modern people resist buying or turn their noses up at as being "unwholesome" in some way, are ground down into sausages, burgers or ground beef (... or pork, lamb, etc) I guess that's his version of pink slime, but he calls it LCET... lips, cheeks, ears & tails. That's simply a way of utilising the whole animal, instead of wasting the parts people no longer know how to use or have decided they're too good to eat any more. If people would still buy oxtails for soup or pies, he wouldn't need to disguise it as "ground beef". If people only knew the waste involved in only producing prime cuts of lean meat they'd realise that there HAS to be some way of using up all the bits they don't like the look of. Unless you're involved in the entire process from field to plate, most people these days have no idea of what's involved to turn a living animal into a healthy meal, & would have no idea of what to do with the bits that don't look like steak. If you've ever picked clean a roast chicken carcase, you'll know there's a lot of perfectly healthy, lean & tasty meat that occurs in small pieces... are we supposed to just waste all that because people don't like the idea of eating meat that doesn't naturally grow in large masses? Less hysteria & more education are needed, but you'll get fed the hysteria via mass media, & you'll have to work to educate yourself. Uninformed decisions are rarely correct, so if you really want to eat healthily you must learn to differentiate between hype (which usually has catchy names for things & easily understood, if false, "facts") & genuine information (which is usually a whole lot more complicated)

  • pixestreasurechest

    Michele Delp from pixestreasurechest said 4 years ago

    Very interesting reads! The more I hear and read about our food, and it's sources, the more I buy from my local farmer's market, local businesses, and prepare at home. I find it scary that "mass produced" food is almost always altered in some way, be it seeds with a pesticide in them already, or steer being given antibiotics.

  • TheBeautyofBoredom

    Gracie from TheBeautyofBoredom said 4 years ago

    Wow, I didn't have any idea about this. I am glad that I am not in school anymore...and that I am a vegetarian. It is truly horrifying though to know that 7 million pounds of this pink slime will be purchased for school lunches. Nearly everyone that goes to school eats a school lunch. I remember being in school and being part of the 5% of people that packed my own lunch to save my parents some money, and because of the lack of vegetarian options. I do agree that it is hard to actually make a difference. People say things, and yes, things get said. But that doesn't matter. The schools are probably just going to buy what is cheapest, which is unfortunate. Many parents may be too busy to pack a lunch for their younger child. Everyone wants the quick option, and for older kids it's awkward to be the only one not having a hot meal (there wasn't a useable microwave at my high school.) Schools aren't known for having the freshest ingredients, if one is concerned about health it will probably always be better to pack a lunch. Even pb & j on whole grain bread, carrots, juice, yogurt, and a small dessert would be better.

  • TheStitchAndFold

    Stitch from TheStitchAndFold said 4 years ago

    I'm the only person I know in my early 20s who's interested in gardening. Apart from the beauty of growing amazing plants from tiny seeds just with a bit of care, water and sunshine, it's also because I enjoy how it brings me closer to nature and the source of my own food.

  • lmouer

    Lynsey from lmouer said 4 years ago

    This article was very interesting and thought provoking. I think more and more young people are gardening and resorting to a homestead lifestyle. We will always live in a world of processed food, but as long as your know what your eating, then it's your choice. Education is key. We can only progress with knowledge.

  • lovelygifts

    Linda from lovelygifts said 4 years ago

    Interesting article and so true. That's why I prefer to buy at Trader Joe's and the like.

  • malloryannemiller

    Mallory Miller said 4 years ago

    I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss this beef product. I have little faith in the media these days and I believe that we are allowing them to dictate how we react to and feel about the facts by presenting them in a certain way. I do make it a point to purchase and cook with mostly unprocessed foods and I believe that it is a very healthy way to live and eat. However, I know that cost and availability have to be taken into account. At least I take it into account when planning my family's grocery trips and I'm sure that large companies and the Public School Systems must also. This is beef and ammonium hydroxide is not a foreign substance to the beef industry or the food industry as a whole. I see it as a "waste not, want not" mentality. And, yes, we should most definitely know what's in the food we're eating but we shouldn't allow others to color our reaction to it. A couple of articles presenting interesting "other sides" of the story . . . http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/why-im-o-k-with-pink-slime-in-ground-beef/ http://adage.com/article/news/beef-industry-bruised-pink-slime-battle/233855/

  • BLCouture

    Bernadette Rothlisberger from BLCouture said 4 years ago

    This is why we grow most of our own food and shop local farmers. And why we pack our childrens lunches every day.

  • inventionbynecessity

    inventionbynecessity from inventionbynecessity said 4 years ago

    Great article. It's such a simple concept, I don't know why people need to be told. I grew up hearing my grandmother talk about raising her children during the Great Depression. She often said they had very little money, but by being able to grow things and raise animals, her children never went to bed hungry. They never had to worry about chemicals and harmful additives in their food either. Many years ago, I got a book from my local library titled, "One Acre and Security." I immediately thought, "I have six acres. We could become REALLY secure." With more reading and thought, a goal evolved. For quite a few years we raised all of our own meat, eggs, milk, vegetables and some fruit. My children grew up on homemade yogert, homemade mayo, and baked goods made from scratch. Yes, I packed their lunches until they were old enough to pack their own. I canned and froze and made jelly and jam. There was a bit of work involved, but we knew exactly what was in everything we ate. Our whole family learned a lot. As a teen, my oldest daughter didn't know what to do with a cake mix. She only knew how to bake a cake from scratch. Today more than ever we have to be vigilant and very careful about the foods we buy. Even our pets are not safe from harmful additives and poor nutritional values in pet foods.

  • LoveEmbellished

    Sofia from LoveEmbellished said 4 years ago

    Not every one has the luxury of owning enough land to grow their own food. Not everyone lives in a temperate climate that allows one to grow their own food. Not everyone can afford good organic food. (even when cutting out junk food and processed food, eating real food costs lots of money because it is worth it) Sometimes you have a low blood sugar moment and need instant food. Eating to live and living to eat plays a huge role in peoples consumption choices. Sometimes you just want a slice of apple pie over an apple. People want to make their own choices, we see it first in children, especially in teenagers, and yes in us adults. We don't want to be told what to do, or what to eat or not to eat. Like cigarettes, we all know the dangers, but so many still choose to smoke. I don't think any of this will change. Not until there is no food at all to choose from. My wise mother used to say, "take all things in moderation". She lived a healthy long life of 93. She was born in 1917 on a farm. Ate healthy meat, eggs, dairy, and vegetables from their farm. Married, had 8 kids, did the whole war rationing thing. Used crisco, and oleo which was 1/2 butter 1/2 margarine. And all the newly "convenient" processed foods that were birthed in her young married life. Her dietary first 1/2 of life was healthy, her last not. But she loved life, had so much enthusiasm and zest. People were always astonished at her youthfulness. So for me, I try to eat better when I can, don't beat myself up when I fail, and pray over every meal! There is power in our words and it can not but help to ask a blessing over what we eat in case there is something in it we can not see. But even more than that, it is being thankful for what we do have, and that is the ability to make choices.

  • BridalSashesOnly

    Kathy Johnson from BridalSashesOnly said 4 years ago

    And thats why I have a garden, with all of the scares about meat in todays news I try and serve very little of it, mostly fish and lots of veggies!

  • jmayoriginals

    jean from jmayoriginals said 4 years ago

    a provocative read, for sure. shopping for fresh ingredients, preparing them simply, and savoring each home-cooked meal....great advice right there. though i do eat meat on occasion, seeing the cow diagram bothers me a bit.

  • lithezebra

    lithezebra from lithezebra said 4 years ago

    Eating moderate amounts of meat is nutritionally sound, since meat is an excellent source of vitamin b12, and the only way to get omega-3 fatty acids in the configuration that is beneficial to health, which is not the configuration found in flax seed. The statistics on b12 deficiency among vegetarians, even those who eat eggs and dairy, are sobering. Pink slime isn't unhealthy, just unappealing. If I slaughtered my own cow, I'd be using the same bits of meat to make stew, not mixing them in with ground beef.

  • funkomavintage

    Tressie from funkomavintage said 4 years ago

    good article. It's the same issues that us hippies and flower children were talking about back in the 60s and 70s, inspired by folks like the Nearings, for instance. A lot has changed for the better in the last 50 years....many excellent foods, and hand-raised cows for tasty healthy beef is more available, tho I'm a vegetarian/vegan. Back in the day, "health foods" were made at home or sold in teeny tiny stores.....now, organic/healthy foods are at disgusting WalMart, even! Farmer's mkts are everywhere, hipsters are raising bees/chickens, most everybody is trying to garden! So, changes can be made....and they can be made very quickly too...at least on a personal level....just don't buy garbage-food....good stuff is available everywhere!

  • loopyboopy

    loopy from loopyboopy said 4 years ago

    This is a predictable bourgeois conversation. Of course taking personal responsibility in the choices we make, the foods we eat or feed our families eat is necessary, how is this a new concept? For all those that are able to pay more for local and organic, grow a garden etc..wonderful, but we do not all have the same choices, we do not all have the same opportunities. There are too many people on this planet, that is a fact. The planet itself cannot sustain its population with all fresh and organic foods. There is a much bigger issue here than the food we eat.

  • HaucksReCreations

    Esther from HaucksReCreations said 4 years ago

    Very good and informative article-thank you. It is nice to read so many thoughts and opinions-this gives all of us hope in that we become aware of how many people there are that care. Real change is possible and starts with our individual choices-support those that are providing and encouraging whole fresh food. I too would rather eat less of a quality food than eat tampered with substitutions. A quote by Ghandi comes to mind for me " Be a part of the change you wish to see".

  • HavenClean

    Kayce White from HomeIntoHaven said 4 years ago

    The best part about this story is that it's shining a light on how so many important parts of our lives are being dictated by huge corporations who are getting stronger and more powerful than our own government, which is finding it increasingly difficult to regulate these huge companies. Unchecked, unregulated growth of corporations making "pink slime" decisions is a scary prospect. The good news it that we have huge voices as consumers and just have to all work together and begin using our purchases to speak for our values! I love that and am feeling very hopeful we're moving in that direction.

  • VeganAndHealthy

    VeganAndHealthy said 4 years ago

    Danielle writes, "We tweet, Facebook and blog, writing passionate status updates about how important it is that something, anything, be done. We start online petitions. Each tweet and hashtag fuels the fire of mass online disgust that lasts for about a week before the news cycle renews itself and all is forgotten. Until the next scare. The recent uproar over “pink slime” in hamburgers and school lunches followed the same pattern." The truth is that this 'uproar' has not been forgotten. Bettina Siegel posted a Change.org petition on March 6th urging the USDA to stop using ‘Pink Slime’ in the National School Lunch program. Siegel’s petition received over a quarter-million signatures in just three weeks. http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-usda-to-stop-using-pink-slime-in-school-food?utm_medium=email&utm_source=action_alert Within 9 days of posting the petition, on March 15, 2012 the USDA at least offered schools a choice, never before offered. In the days that followed, consumer outcry from media reports about LFTB led to demands for labeling, and now we have legislation pending in Congress that will provide just that. And, as of today, processors are already asking the USDA for permission to label on a voluntary basis and the USDA has agreed. The USDA has acknowledged the pressure from concerned citizens, issuing an announcement that it would give school districts the option to purchase beef with or without LFTB. Many large school districts, including those in New York City and Boston, have stopped purchasing beef containing LFTB, while those that don’t use ‘Pink Slime’, like the Houston ISD, are confirming that their beef is LFTB-free. Tensions on this topic are running high – while ‘Pink Slime’ opponents are pleased with the initial inroads made with the USDA, they’re not content with this first victory and are actively lobbying members of Congress to keep such additives out of the meat supply. According to Rebecca Maclean (a food policy blogger whose interests lie at the intersection of urban gardening, food security, and public health), "The takeaway from this controversy is clear: people didn’t know what their kids were eating. When they learned the truth, they wanted ‘Pink Slime’ taken out of their children’s meals – and out of their supermarkets as well. Americans haven’t suddenly turned vegetarian, leaving the beef industry in the lurch. But when given the opportunity to make informed choices, consumers will decide based on what’s in their best interest. In this case, once people were educated about the industrial food system, they chose to change their purchasing habits, and pushed for the government to do the same."

  • quincebaked

    quincebaked from quincebaked said 4 years ago

    Great article! I hope the trend towards more disclosure about what is actually in our food continues. We all need to do our part to make our food better for our bodies and the planet. Processing of food does terrible things to our bodies and our health and it's truly saddening. One of the reasons I love Etsy is because it allows us to get away from the big corporations and purchase foods and products that are healthier, better for the planet and smarter. Shop owners do a great job of really being honest about what is in their products, especially edibles. Even if you don't have land, you can still garden! Here's an excellent link to an article about gardening without land or resources. http://bit.ly/GPQbc3 Change is happening and we can support it by making conscious choices to do the right thing and eat the right food.

  • SummerlandGirls

    Susan Reynolds from SummerlandGirls said 4 years ago

    Excellent read. Until recently, food was my comfort on a bad day, or when I was bored, or whenever. My 20s were spent eating whatever, whenever, and drinking a lot of diet soda. And I was always still hunrgry and thirsty. Recently my eyes opened and I have cut out soda and switched to water and Crystal Light. I stopped grabbing burgers and started stocking fresh produce in my fridge. I stopped eating so much cheese. I have discovered I love raw spinach. No chips or cheese crackers. I eat pita bread and carrots. I have never felt better in my life. It's still hard to turn down a piece of pizza or cake sometimes, but overall, apples make me feel better. I know not everyone can do this (it can be pricey so I shop at a place that has excellent value), but I figured I would rather spend more of my money on foods that will nourish my body and keep me satisfied than buying greasy fast food and soda that will only make me overweight and unhealthy.

  • Wolfmont

    Tony Foxwalker from Wolfmont said 4 years ago

    @Greg Patt, I understand what you are saying. But it is also possible to "put up" (i.e., can, dry, or otherwise preserve) good at their peak, and thus retain a good deal of their nutritional value, as well as their flavor. It's plainly self-indulgent to insist on fresh grapes, when good raisins will do, or to deny yourself tomatoes since they are not fresh... but home canned or dried tomatoes lose very little in nutritional value, as long as they are done correctly, and they taste great. Of course, as a bonus, you get to see what goes into these foods, and keep guar gum, potassium ascorbate, and other additives and chemicals out of your food, if you preserve them yourself. Drying, freezing, canning in jars... all of these work well. (Yes, my wife and I grow many of our own veggies, and we buy locally as often as possible. We found a local free-range egg supplier, and a grass-fed meat supplier, too.)

  • myvintagecrush

    Kathleen from myvintagecrush said 4 years ago

    I've never eaten a burger my whole life. Good thing.

  • pamalamb

    pamalamb said 4 years ago

    The painting is better than the article which is over simplistic.

  • auntbeesthings

    Rebecca Burroughs from WoodenFloorBookstore said 4 years ago

    I am proud to say that I am on the road to not only growing my own vegetables, but raising my own cows, goats and chickens for beef, milk, poultry and eggs. I grew up in the farm lifestyle, and have been wanting to return for quite some time. Signing the papers for my own farm this weekend. :) Woot!

  • littlegoatsoaps

    Karly from LittleGoatSoaps said 4 years ago

    Just filled my freezer with grass-fed beef from a farm 10 miles from me. :) And we also get pastures, organic eggs & mil.

  • Prairiepeacock

    Prairiepeacock from Prairiepeacock said 4 years ago

    I raise beef and I would like to say the same amonia that you worry your meat is bathed in is also in your makeup. The pink slime is nothing but leaner cuts of meat, the less desireable that are not steaks, roasts or briskets. So when someone goes to buy a package of hamburger I would rather be assured it is done right and is a safe product to ingest. I hope you folks realized the hundreds of hard working folks that lost their jobs over this scare and the number of people who will now moan and groan about the beef market prices being so high, have no idea what we do to make sure our home raised products are the very best we can deliver. If you are on foodstamps or even a severely limited income, that hamburger was the highlight of your week. Now because of this so called pink slime scare, most of those people won't be able to get low cost quality meats. So they will go to more rice, ramen noodles and things like that really reflect the obseity onset. Some people really overdid this pink slime thing and honestly I for one have seen this product being made and know all the safety measures that go into it. Don't forget some of your local butchers are not the most honest people either...mixing some fresh meat with old, not being honest about dating or how cold the freezer display case is. There is good and bad in everything but remember what they found in apple juice this year....and how many school kids drink apple juice??? Beef is a good product and I am proud that I raise beef and yes, I have eaten beef I raise and the so called pink slime product as well. Just remember who benefited from this the most....the media, the attackers and who lost...all those workers who are now unemployed and YOU. Because of this you will now pay a hefty price increase because someone decided to kick someone else under the bus. Lets see what else can you remember that caused quite a stir...mad cow, swine flu, oil spill shrimp and fish...I can go on, Judge your food on a case by case basis but dobelieve everything your read or are tweeted.

  • EndearingEphemera

    Joy Northrop from autumnsensation said 4 years ago

    FDA-approved meat made into a huge much-ado-about-nothing topic.

  • Atticbitsandbobs

    Atticbitsandbobs from Atticbitsandbobs said 4 years ago

    For those of us who were lucky enough to be raised with home cooked meals, made from wholesome ingredients, eating this same way once we established our own homes comes pretty naturaly. Even though I do most of my own cooking and baking from scratch, there has been the odd occasion when I've tired something a little more convenient. The latest was this past Easter weekend when I thought it would be easier to use a mix for my lemon pie filling than my normal made from scratch recipe. I was preparing a turkey meal with all the fixings for noon and desert was two different types of pie, so the short cut was desirable....until I read the ingredients on the box. It really only contained the thickening agent and some sugar and chemicals, I still had to add my lemon juice, eggs and butter and of course, my pastry as this package was just for the filling. Ironically, the method which was to be used to make this filling was almost identical to my own recipe. It was no savings cost wise, and it really wasn't much more convenient other than the fact the thickening agent was already measured (because that takes so much time and effort right?) I made my own recipe as usual and the meal was enjoyed by all. I do feel sorry for those who didn't have my sort of upbrining. People who didn't have someone at home cooking meals and baking. Someone to teach them about how to cook and how to follow a recipe so that they too can make inforomed decisions when at the store buying their food. Home Ec used to be a course taught in school and was mandatory for all girls to take for one full school year. At least then they got a chance to see how to cook from scratch and learn about nutrition, which is equally as important. I think it should still be mandatory for all students, not just girls, to take this type of course for at least that one school year so that the kids can learn what their families may not be able to teach them. It may well be the most important thing we can teach our kids....how to feed themselves well not conveniently.

  • barzibo

    barzibo said 4 years ago

    It's all good advice, but almost impossible for people living with a tight income. other countries regulate with an eye toward protecting the health of it's citizens...NOT the driving force in the USA. Normal people can't afford Whole foods and organic veggies...they are doing well if the can afford "fresh" veggies, instead of frozen or canned. I'm not sure what the answer is, but don't think it can be solved by scolding people about their uninformed palate :(

  • JodysVintage

    Jody Ball from PansyRoadVintage said 4 years ago

    I agree with Prairiepeacock. She (or he) is right!! Common sense comments in my opinion.

  • sakurakoalexis

    Alexis Young from ThankfulHeartArt said 4 years ago

    I agree it is best to eat real food... eating real veggies and meat and avoiding as much processed food as possible. It is sad that our government doesn't make it easier for everyone to afford this diet. Maybe if we ate better, we would have less disease and our health system wouldn't be so overburdened.

  • christyfbrown

    Christy Anderson said 4 years ago

    I went vegan and buy my veggies at the Farmer's Market. The less processed foods the better.

  • Freakyboat

    Chris and Dev from Freakyboat said 4 years ago

    Ugh I just feel sick, but know it's up to me to change. And change I will.

  • AuthenticAVictoria

    Amber Victoria Jobe from AuthenticAVictoria said 4 years ago

    Very well written. The article does not quite attack the food industry, but yet discourages poor decisions by the eater and praises positive choices. A nice reminder to stop and eat a strawberry. Thank you. I hope more people realize the fate of the food we all eat is easily at the hands of us! If we chose healthy options, business has to fold to those options. More companies will remove harmful ingredients if you do not buy their product, and pay for the healthier, organic option. Business cares about money. Food is a business. Put your money where it is deserved.

  • Joliejye

    Julie Duchesne from Joliejye said 4 years ago

    Very interesting, thank you so much for writing those informations. Unfortunatly money is strongest than people's health. In France this is quite the same, in Europe too i guess... That's a shame and that's why we should be back to the true natural food. Organic, natural, noting better...

  • AamusAttic

    AamusAttic from AamusAttic said 4 years ago

    See that ribs section in the cow picture. People price those for good eating. There are Rib joints all over America. See the Beef stews and soups most Grandmas used to make. At some point they pulled the bones out meat haveing fallen off into the pot. That was pink slime grant it they didnt use the Ammonia mists on it but it was the same meat parts. It wasnt the pink slime that was the issue but the fact that the ammonia had to be used on it that got to me.

  • gregpatt

    Greg Patt from WoodBoneAndStone said 4 years ago

    Prairiepeacock makes excellent points. Having had LFTB explained to me in detail I think it has been unfairly vilified. As a lifelong vegetarian I don't have a dog in the fight other than being affected by hiccups in the economy caused by misinformed health scares precipitated by and encouraged by the media. I am absolutely for choice in what one eats and the choices ARE there. Those who think otherwise probably always go for the easy choice. I have always been able to satisfy my choosy diet both in poverty and abundance.

  • JodyBallArt

    JodyBallArt from JodyBallArt said 4 years ago

    Greg you are right, great comment. CHOICE! And as if the meat company would produce a product that puts their bottom line (MAKING MONEY) in jeapordy, that is not good business sense. They knew they were making a perfectly proper product, I am sure that the US GOVT had their inspectors there as they do in the meat operations! This has gotten out of control and we the people jump to conclusions. Yes, natural and organic would be wonderful in a perfect world but we dont live there do we?

  • pasitorkkeli

    Pasi Torkkeli from TorkkeliJewellery said 4 years ago

    I try to eat organic food made from scratch. I also like to buy local food as much as I can, because it supports the community and is Eco-friendly. The only problem with eating fresh, organic food and trying to have it local, is for our climate. We have a rough winters and the summer is really short. Oranges, Bananas and almost any other fruits than apples don't grow here at all so they make a long, long way to our stores and that is why they are quite expensive also. But I'm happy to pay more to know that I'm eating real organic food, and not some slime! For me organic meat is important, because there isn't antibiotics or any other non-healthy stuff fed to the animals. I also believe that organic animals, like cows and chicken live in a better environment. In the beginning of this year in Finland is illegal to keep chickens in a small cages where they couldn't even move at all, just make eggs. I once saw how nuggets were made, and honestly I feel sick even thinking about it. I want to make sure that I try to do the right thing with what I'm eating, to myself, animals and environment. I know that one man can't cahnge the world, but it is a good start:)

  • BlueMoonLights

    Alexandra Simons from BlueMoonLights said 4 years ago

    I couldn't agree more! Great post!!!!

  • Prairiepeacock

    Prairiepeacock from Prairiepeacock said 4 years ago

    I would like to add one more comment if I may. It is all great and fine to buy locally but take the time to find out what pesticides/insecticides are being used on your food. Buying at a farmers market does not insure they are wholesome or safe. If I am buying from a farmers market I do take the time to find out who the people I am buying from are, what they use and I watch for how they package and handle the item at the stand. Let me also add there is no clean cut answer to tainted apple juice, oiled shrimp or even pink slime fears, but remember most vitamins and supplements are NOT government inspected. More than they used to be I must admit, but we do not live in a perfect world and you must be vigilient in your education and questions.

  • wishflowervintage

    Erin Conley from CurioVNTG said 4 years ago

    Great article. I was raised organic + free range + grass fed (thanks Mom!) and still eat that way today. I agree with some of what's been said about eating local, I do as long as it's organic and I purchase organic produce from other regions in the winter. I fully agree about the consumer needing to change their food choices and raise their standards before quality will increase (and prices go down). My brother is a butcher for a highly acclaimed "farm-to-table" organic restaurant group, it's given me the opportunity to truly appreciate the quality and origins of the meat there. Pink slime, no thanks.

  • falconfoot

    Michael Thompson from FadingLeafDesign said 4 years ago

    Great article! @Erin Conley I was not raised organic but over the last eight years we have changed everything for our daughter! Here is a great video called "Food and Behavior" it really opened our eyes. I am so glad this article is on ETSY! Well done! Short: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKSwpifzUDw&feature=player_embedded#! Entire Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5p_vtE_MftU&feature=related

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 4 years ago

    Food for thought. Interesting comments, it seems to hit a nerve. I was raised organic too as a kid. It was a lot harder to access in those days. Great article.

  • tomsgrossmami

    Tom's Grossmami from tomsgrossmami said 4 years ago

    Great article!

  • MindingMilo

    Tara Morgan from MindingMilo said 4 years ago

    I love that you mentioned the "short-lived" outrage that accompanies a story like this. It often astounds me that people can't look at the food on the shelves of many stores and still be surprised that it's bad for them! If it comes in a box and lasts for a year, it's just common sense that it's probably not good for you! (Yes, even if it says 'natural' or 'organic'. If it doesn't look like it did when it was harvested or you can't read the ingredients, it's not really food! The scariest part is that so many people put faith into the government to be our watchdogs on these sorts of issues...of course they're not!!! Where do you think campaign money comes from? It is our responsibility as consumers to look out for ourselves, our families and our communities. Is a petition going to change the world...probably not. But it feels good to pretend we are, right? That's what the people with all the money and power rely on...our laziness, blind faith, and inability to affect real change for ourselves. On the other hand can we change the lives of our neighbors, our friends, ourselves??? Hell yes!!! And until we do...until we stop purchasing these products, stop feeding them our faith and money, stop hoping for change (like an abused spouse who sticks around waiting for something that will never come) and making it ourselves victims so we can cry wolf later on, it WILL continue. Use your money wisely and take the control out of the hands of others. They won't change until they HAVE to and it's up to us as individuals and consumers to force it to happen. We have the power to STOP...just saying no does nothing.

  • falconfoot

    Michael Thompson from FadingLeafDesign said 4 years ago

    Great article and comments! We started our journey by watching: Keyword search: "Dr. Russell Blaylock nutrition and behavior" It is an eye opener. Thanks for posting this article.

  • HamiltonBay

    Patricia from HamiltonBay said 4 years ago

    Grow your own vegetables. It is cheap, and easy, and some nice exercise. Nothing tastes better than freshly-picked tomatoes, green beans, sweet peas, zucchini, squash, or nice ripe corn! Everything grows, even in containers or pots or porches or small patios -- and you KNOW there are no pesticides on them. People on welfare or on Food Stamps should be taught how simple it is to grow your own food, and their diets would be vastly improved in the process.

  • heatherracquel

    Heather Rampolla from RawAndNotAlone said 4 years ago

    Right on sister! We *can* always make a difference in the choices of food we buy and eat for better health. Pure ingredients make for a pure body!

  • chignonbeauty

    chignonbeauty said 4 years ago

    Thanks for the article. I hope everyone will do a google search for Earthlings, the documentary, and view at least the trailer. It is probably the most disturbing movie I have ever watched, and it solidified my new direction of eating even though I was already halfway there. For me the health and quality and "joy of living" aspects of eating, buying and growing food are extremely important, but what has really changed my life as a lover of healthy foods was in a switch to deep compassion for animals, and in the last five months, I, my husband (before a carnivore who bought "organic" meats) and our little one have converted to about a 90% vegan diet. It happened very quickly. Although I'd been a sushi-only-otherwise-vegetarian type for years, I never thought much about being vegan, other than that it sounded radical and cultish and impossible to do anyway. But after viewing on youtube and documentaries like Earthlings, the footage of factory farms, I lost my interest in involving myself in the cycle of animal-produced foods. The obscene level of torture these animals are experiencing all day, and all night long, every day, and having actually watched the footage of it, has irrevocable changed my sense of what my body needs, and has opened my eyes to the myriad ways the Dairy Council and the Meat Industry and all these supposed nutritional arbiters of good health have been lying to us, about what we need to consume in order to be healthy. I grew up with dairy as a staple and meat and chicken as the staples of our meals. My family is Danish and holds a great tradition of buttery baking and such. None of this matters now, except in a psychological and emotional love for meals I've shared with loved ones. I'm on a new path, I just wanted to share.

  • SDesq

    Satchel Dillinger from SDesq said 4 years ago

    What do they teach in home-ec nowadays, what toppings go together best on a delivery pizza and proper "receiving of dinner through the car window" etiquette? Are chicken nuggets the other, other white meat? Will supermarkets become "that weird place my grandmother goes to buy uncooked food"? Will women know it's real love because their dates let them order something that's not on the dollar menu?

  • MickeyandGrace

    Dana from MickeyandGrace said 4 years ago

    AMEN!! It's so sad (and downright scary) what our typical American diet has morphed into...thanks for being a voice of reason! Hopefully our country can be educated enough at some point to reject all the processed chemicals and faux-food that is passed off on the general public. It's time for individuals to make better choices and get informed!

  • SalmonberryOrigins

    Nasuġraq from SalmonberryOrigins said 4 years ago

    In response to the gentleman who stated that northern diets are strictly carnivorous and can even shorten a lifespan: I beg to differ. I would hope that people take this opportunity to educate themselves in the local diets of far away places, you will learn some things that will surprise you. As a Alaskan native our diet is still reliant on substance hunting, but includes a huge array of wild harvested fruits and vegetables. Do not limit yourself to what you can buy, but also look at what you can grow and harvest yourself. For those that want to learn more about my experiments in an arctic garden and about our ancient subsistence diet, google my blog ' stop and smell the lichen.'. All humans live off a diet of souls, be they flora or fauna.

  • masala3871

    veggiegirl said 4 years ago

    It's really quite simple: STOP EATING MEAT!!! Becoming a vegetarian is better for the environment, better for the ANIMALS, and- better for you:) The amoumt of grain used to raise ONE COW, could feed a village in Africa. If everyone would become vegetarians, as God designed us to be, we could erradicate hunger, clean up our earth, and save hundreds of thousands of both animal and human lives.

  • papersparrows

    Caiti Hensley from papersparrows said 4 years ago Featured

    As a fifteen year old, I think there are a few misconceptions about kids and food. I, personally, know where my food comes from, and my friends know the same. We don't think eggs are grown in cartons, and a healthy percentage of us have the same issues with the food industry as adults do. This is not only because of what our parents tell us: we have the internet and mass media, the same access adults have. We're not all ignorant. In fact, most of us know just as much as you do. That said, I think both sides of the debate have valid points. Organic, local food is much more like what humans evolved to eat. If you can afford it (and it is more expensive), it is probably much healthier. However, a lot of people cannot afford it. I know it's possible to get it cheaply in some areas, but where could a poor city dweller find a local farmer to buy a cow from? The processed food industry has its benefits and its drawbacks, and I think it's important to consider that.

  • ERiaDesigns

    ERiaDesigns from ERiaDesigns said 4 years ago

    Wow, Caiti! Good points from someone less than half my age:) Well said. I, myself, grow (some) of my own food, buy local when I can, eat organic about 95% of the time...HOWEVER, I am a conventional farmer in a family of farmers dating back many generations. In the heart of the corn-belt, I understand what a mass effort it takes to grow enough food for the entire nation and much of the world. Of course, organic local food for everyone sounds like a great idea...it's a Utopian view that can't work. I discuss this issue with my farmer husband on an almost daily basis. Where I live, I can't grow lettuce, spinach, tomatoes and peppers much of the year. The food system works best when those can do produce at a lower price than what an individual can produce. You have to think rationally about what makes sense ecologically, financially and spatially when it comes to food production. Please don't be so closed-minded to suggest to everyone on Etsy that "you should just grow your own food in your window sills and backyards." It takes time...lots of time, money (yes, it isn't free to garden for most people), expertise and space to grow a garden large enough to support a family for a year. So, the next time you want to bash "big food", "big beef", etc., realize that if it wasn't for some of these "evil" companies you may call them, much of the world would go hungry. Sure, they're not perfect...neither are you. If you're mad, then do something productive about it. Don't just bash. Cook a big meal for your neighborhood kids. Get involved in your school's PTA to help make changes in the school. Educate yourself and share your findings with others using data and real-life situations, not rumor and scare tactics (i.e. - pink slime is bad because it sounds bad). Maybe someday all preservatives and processing will be taken out of the food system. That would be ideal. That is my hope. I have tried to take much of those two words (preservatives and processing) out of MY food system. It was my choice. It was my researching and learning and wading through much of the rhetoric, propaganda and scare-tactics to get to the real meat (no pun intended) of the way I eat. IT WAS MY CHOICE and until most Americans make a different choice than McDonald's, Lunchables, Jimmy Dean, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, Hi-C, etc., then there will be those companies that provide a supply for that demand. It's economics, people! If the customer will demand it, the companies will supply it! Don't push your ideas and beliefs onto someone else - whether it's religion or food. Before you bash a certain segment of the agricultural system, please learn about it. It's much more than just "a big bag corporation". It's family farmers like myself that are dedicated to the land (hello, we live on it!). It's the truck drivers who truck our crop away each fall. It's the college kids who learn about agriculture by working in the fields each summer. It's the mechanic at the local implement dealership that has worked that job for 20 years to feed his family. It's the insurance agent who sells us crop insurance to feed her family. It's the local business people who sell us goods and earn a living from the income we generate feeding the food demands of the world... Sure, I wish it were all organic! Sure, I wish all the beef that grew from the corn we were was grass fed. Until YOU get involved in the system, watch your words, take the time to understand both sides and realize that if we're going to feed the 7 billion people on this small Earth we're going to need more backyard gardens. Don't take Michael Moore's movies as gospel. He has an agenda just like the big bad food corporations. Understand that conventional agriculture is constantly taking steps to be better stewards of the land from creating buffer strips between fields and streams to finding how to more accurately apply nutrients to certain parts of the fields so that more is used where needed and less where not needed. Please understand that more than just this blog is affected by your words.

  • ERiaDesigns

    ERiaDesigns from ERiaDesigns said 4 years ago

    One more thing... let's have a post about the absurdity of food marketed as "healthy", "fresh", and to children...such as the food at Subway. A child's meal from Subway comes with a ridiculous bag that reads "use again"...uh, huh. Any parent knows where it will end up, given its small size and apparent non-usefulness - in the trash. What's even more absurd - the chocolate milk marketed to kids at Subway contains 40 grams of sugar...more than 3 TIMES the amount the American Heart Association recommends for a child each DAY! Where's the outrage there, Etsy? At least the truth about what "pink slime" really contains is out there for the public to make a judgement about. So many foods marketed to children (and served in schools) use clever marketing terms and phrases to by-pass the obvious non-nutrition of all the sugar, colors, preservatives and other non-food items in these foods. I would eat pink slime over drinking a jug of Subway chocolate milk any day.

  • holidayhijinks

    Sandra from holidayhijinks said 4 years ago

    You are so on target!!! I knew there was something wrong with hamburger several years back. It had no 'taste!" It taste like eating a piece of styrofoam with pickles, tomatoes and mayo. Also, supermarket beef steaks and roasts have lost their real beef taste. I remember what a steak tasted like and it's not there anymore! Also seems like there is an excess of water in beef....don't know where that's coming from! Anyway, you are right......we must be more selective on what we put in our body. And, cooking is fun because you can make it the way you like it everytime!!

  • IsabelleKnits

    IsabelleKnits from IsabelleKnits said 4 years ago

    Have not read till the end but people really should consider adopting the Mediterranean diet. Look it up and benefit from it.

  • lithophor

    lithophor from lithophor said 4 years ago

    Great post! Americans need to get back on the right track to health and good eats. There are great options whether you are a omnivore, vegan, or anything in between. I am blessed to have been raised on breast milk and baby food my mother made from scratch out of fresh fruits and veggies. Sugar and soda was forbidden! Its alot of work, but its worth it to raise healthy children. Its horrifying to know that most people do not think about what they put in their mouths! I have a rule when shopping-Read the ingredients, and if there's one you can't pronounce or don't recognize, don't buy it!

  • clayguyry

    Ryan Peters from clayguyry said 4 years ago

    Very informative post. Thanks for the heads up!

  • FreakyPeas

    FreakyPeas from FreakyPeas said 4 years ago

    My 10 year old son has given up fast food hamburgers because of the pink slime. Not that we had them much but I give him big kuddos for even thinking this way.

  • katlor1

    kat lor said 4 years ago

    Although I agree with buying local, knowing where your food comes from and growing your own food, but I am still unsure what the fuss about pink slime is. Pink slime is the part of meat that we normally eat but is derived from scraps. The main factor that is scaring people is that it is treated with ammonia. What people are forgetting is that other foods are too...even some baking goods! If i were to be concerned about anything in my hamburgers it would be that in only one hamburger.... there can be a thousand cows! When those all of the cows are mixed together. This increases the chance of our food being contaminated!

  • pinkpoppies1991

    Pink Poppies from pinkpoppies1991 said 4 years ago

    Interesting article. Lucky I'm a vegetarian!

  • FireIslandSoap

    Billy Bubbles from FireIslandSoap said 4 years ago

    I eat Halal meat... yum! For those who are unfamiliar, here is a youtube video about it: http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=/watch%3Fv%3DquhVxLUwiBw

  • Frimost

    Frimost from ClothesAndClips said 4 years ago

    great article - eat naturally :)

  • BanglewoodSupplies
  • sweetpeaknitstudio

    Victoria Nesbitt from folkloreyarn said 4 years ago

    Great article- it is really unsettling how dependent we've become on processed and prepared foods. In an effort to eat better, and be more responsible about our environment and our health, we try to eat meat only once or twice per week and when we do, it comes from our local butcher who sells only grass-fed, anti-biotic and hormone-free meat. The taste difference is amazing! And eating less of it means we can afford to buy better quality (yes, organic does cost considerably more, but if you add together how much you might spend on grocery store meats if you eat it several times a week, I think it works out cheaper).

  • Bubblebirds

    Jules from Bubblebirds said 4 years ago

    Interesting post. Thanks for the tips- I will be heading to the farmer's market shortly!

  • AmandaRaeK

    Amanda Keaton from AmandaRaeK said 4 years ago

    Baaahaaaa

  • ezliving

    ezliving from ezliving said 4 years ago

    Great post Thanks for sharing!!!

  • CougarTShirtCompany

    Cougar T-Shirt Company from CougarTShirtCompany said 4 years ago

    If people would demand an end to factory farming, this kind of thing would not happen. When you put corporations in charge of food, the bottom line is going to always be the top concern. There is no thought to how the animals are treated, or much else. Why were hormones added to feed? To make them bigger, faster, for more profit. It is sick.

  • nathanandlindsay

    nathanandlindsay from nathanandlindsay said 4 years ago

    I would like to address the idea that local eating in northern climates is not possible in winter save for meat. First, in Connecticut we can grow greens and brassicas all winter in a greenhouse. Second, Barbara Kingsolver said it best when she said, and I paraphrase "it is possible to eat locally in January, but you have to plan for it in August."

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